I’m gettting a bit worried about some of the posts that have been circulating on Facebook recently. Apparently after the start of 2015 followers to our business pages will not be able to see our posts unless we pay to “boost” them. If this is true I don’t think I will be able to afford to use Facebook to promote my work. I follow some FB pages for businesses that sell well on Folksy and Facebook seems to be an integral part of their marketing strategy and I wondered if there was a way round this problem and what other people’s plans were, if any.
Seems a bit unfair on those of us who follow business pages because we want to see them! We presumably don’t even get the option to pay to see what we want?!
I agree- I follow a lot of pages on Facebook because I like to see the things they post and I like to hear their opinions. It puts the onus on followers to remember which pages they like and visit them to see what their recent posts are instead of just relying on their feeds.
I hadn’t thought of that, so at least there’s a way to see the pages I want to see I just have to actively seek them out. Many people probably won’t do that though, so business pages won’t be as useful to sellers as they are now. Shame really.
Not a great deal seems to come through on my feed at the moment anyway except adverts from pages I’ve never visited or liked. Not sure what the point of Facebook is anymore - I stopped bothering with FB a while ago, the amount of effort I put in to network was not worth it as it rarely generated sales. I now just post about my new items and direct people to my Folksy shop on the off chance that someone might just see my posts in their news feed but I don’t hold out much hope!
When I first started selling online, three years ago, it was Facebook that I started with, and it was brilliant.
Now, I rarely promote through my page as the reach is so poor.
I find Twitter so much better, and have just started using Instagram, which I’m sure I shall quickly become addicted to.
I’m disillusioned with Facebook, although I will always have a soft spot for it as it was where I made my first sales
I’ve found facebook quite usefull for me these last 6 months or so. I’ve had a fair few sales on there so when these changes happen I’m not sure what I will do. I’m on twitter but can’t seem to get my head around that. I suppose I’ll have to get used to it.I perhaps need to spend more time on there. It’ll be a shame about the facebook changes but what can you do.
I’ll probably wind down my Facebook business page and focus on other platforms instead for promotion. I’m on twitter but still not really enjoying using it, need to try harder with it I suppose. I might do a bit more on pinterest, as that seems to work well, and must try Instagram too. Fortunately I never did have a huge FB following, and rarely sold anything there, so it’s not that bad, but it’s a shame it’s changing.
I may concentrate on Google+ as well. I’ve been on there for a while and occasionally share things on there.
I have used free credit from Facebook to boost my reach for giveaways recently and found it had really helped but I don’t think I’ll be using real cash to do the same which puts an end to me giving away free stuff I guess I haven’t properly sat down and read the new Ts and Cs just yet but I was hoping that it was just posts that have promotional links in them (shop links) that were going to have limited reach. I was planning on just using Facebook as a sort of blogging tool and expanding on my learning processes as well as sharing my excitement of new stuff. My reach with those types of posts had been reaching about a third of my likers so far and a couple of those engaging with the posts.
I did start using Google+ as web site building wizard hubby had told me that links on there will appear higher in Google searches. Twitter is something I’m trying to get my head around as it all moves so fast and finding hashtags that work seems to be beyond me at the moment
Anyway that was a longer than planned post so I’ll stop waffling now
I do quite well on fb when I put a link on my personal page or share an instagram picture of something I’ve made, but obviously you can’t really do your business through that page, I usually get orders from other school mums or work colleaugues that way.
I might just give up on it and try instagram, which I love.
Something I’ve also tried is posting on my town’s for sale and wanted page. That often works well and most towns seem to have them Also people get to know what you do and when someone asks on the page e.g.’ who does children’s quilts?’ you can often get tagged into a post.
Oh well, keep plugging on!
On one hand, I understand why FB does that. This is supposed to be a way to keep in touch with your friends. And then lots of businesses created pages and make money without paying anything to FB. On the other hand, FB allowed businesses to do that, they worked hard to establish a big following and now they make it so difficult for you to continue. So tricky! I also wonder what will be the best next alternative. But I do hope that customers will remember me and my work and come back to my shops. That’s the idea, right?
Thanks for replying, Sarah. I do find Twitter useful but have never tried Instagram. Maybe I need to start spreading my net a little wider…
Thanks for replying Pauline. I have never used Google+ and I should look at it as a few people have mentioned it.
Thanks Louise! I totally agree about Twitter-it’s hard to find a hashtag that works! Some people seem to have a knack with this, but as I tend to think laterally I find it hard to think of a word that everyone else will use…
I agree with the hashtags, and this may not be a scientific reply but some things just seem to get picked up randomly.
Since using #badger as a hashtag a fortnight ago I have sold four badgers after it was picked up and retweeted by a ‘‘Stop the badger cull’’ group!
If it is as doom and gloom as everyone thinks it is going to be then I will really miss the interaction I get through my Facebook page as most of my online sales are definitely generated through posts to my page. If I have something new and exciting to share, I may pay to post but I have tried paying to boost a post already and didn’t think much of it at all.
The way I keep up with pages I like though is by using Interest Lists. You can make these lists by hovering over the LIKE button on a page and a drop down box will appear with ‘Add to interest list’. You can only do this when using Facebook as you though, not if you are using it as your page self. You do have to remember to click on the list to see the updates from the pages you have added to it. I run a page for our local Open Studios event and try to share things from all our artists throughout the year. Keeping all their pages on a list means I never miss an update from them, as long as I remember to look at the list.
I think a lot of people will use Pinterest and Instagram more but since Instagram is owned by Facebook, who is to say they won’t moneytise that in time too.
This explains what is happening. https://www.facebook.com/business/news/promotional-controls-uk-announcement
FB did some research with it’s users about what sort of posts they wanted to see from the pages they liked, what was seen as spam advertising etc and have therefore responded. You can use your FB page as it was originally intended, to interact with your customers and keep them informed of updates etc. If you want to advertise anything, they will want to drive you towards paying for adverts that are target driven.
On your personal profile on a laptop you can see there is a Pages section on the left hand menu - that is what you can click on to see the pages that you have liked.
As far as I understand it, Facebook will still show and share business posts, but their aim is to only share content that their users want to see and engage with, and they are tightening up on that.
How it currently works is that Facebook displays a post in the newsfeed of a small percentage of your business page followers, and if those people engage with it (ie comment, like, share) then they show it to more of your followers. If you pay to ‘boost’ your post, Facebook shows it to more people, and you can target who that should be.
I don’t know their exact algorithms, but that’s the basic idea: Facebook wants to discourage businesses from posting purely promotional messages and instead show their users content that is as relevant to their interests as possible.
There’s are some tips from Facebook on best practice for posts here https://www.facebook.com/business/a/page-posting-tips
If anyone has any links to other announcements from Facebook that suggest they are changing their terms so business pages will need to pay to make posts visible from 2015, could you share them here?
If it’s as Camilla says, that seems fair enough. The more interaction, more sharing of the post. This is where it pays to have built up an organic Facebook following, who are following you because they like your stuff, or your interests. The ones that have been gained as a like for a like, or any of those sorts of Facebook fan boosters, are no use to anyone if you’re not interested in their items, and they’re not interested in yours. It just skews reach figures to have a following like that, which isn’t going to help when Facebook are trying to judge how ‘interesting’ your posts are to your followers.
I was going to say the new rules are tough on new Facebook pages, but they’re not really. If you’ve only got 5 followers, but they all interact because they’re genuine likers, then your reach is probably as good as someone on 1000 followers who has mostly genuine likers interacting daily too.
We’ll see how it all pans out on the 1st Jan.